The MUBI Weekly Digest | 21st December 2019
Staff Reporter | On 21, Dec 2019Reading time: 8 mins
MUBi celebrates Christmas with an alternative line-up this week, serving up Coen Brothers classic The Big Lebowski on Christmas Day and stuffing it with sides of Le Havre and Three Colours: Red, not to mention a double-bill from the mighty Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Want to see something on the big screen? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see Knives Out at participating cinemas.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Andrey Zvyagintsev: Leviathan – 21st December
In a small coastal Russian town, a man decides to fight against the corrupt local officials who impose a compulsory purchase order on his land. Kolia defiantly refuses to give up his home, and recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
Three Colours: Red – 22nd December
Kieślowski closes his trilogy in grand fashion with this mind-boggling, unconventional romance: a story of fate and chance in an interconnected society.
Godard: Le Petit Soldat – 23rd December
During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva joins a far-right terrorist group from which he later tries to flee, after falling in love for a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist group.
Godard: Contempt – 24th December
A screenwriter adapting Homer’s Odyssey for cinema is torn between the demands of a proud European director to whom he wishes to be loyal to; a crude, arrogant American producer; his disillusioned wife Camille; and his own self-respect.
The Big Lebowski – 25th December
When Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski is mistaken for Jeffrey Lebowski, two nihilists come to his house to threaten him. In search of recompense, The Dude tracks down Jeffrey, who offers him a job: he needs a bagman to get his kidnapped wife back. But The Dude’s friends Walter and Donny get involved…
Le Havre – 26th December
In the French harbor city of Le Havre, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa into the path of Marcel Marx, a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoe-shiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation.
Holy Motors – 27th December
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man. He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part—but where are the cameras?
Other new releases on MUBI
The cinematic road trip to end all road trips—Monte Hellman’s counterculture classic captures the 1970s in one hypnotic ride across the American landscape.
Andrey Zvyagintsev: The Return
A master of seething family tensions, Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless) made waves right from the start with this auspicious debut film.
Bergman: To Joy
The film begins with Stig learning of the sudden death of his wife Marta. During a prolonged flashback, Stig remembers the delights and tribulations of their relationship, back to their early days in the orchestra conducted by the eminent Sönderby, a time when Stig was riddled with self-doubt.
With this polemical inquiry into Rembrandt’s famous painting “The Night Watch”, British provocateur and notorious pedant Peter Greenaway delves deep into the concept of truth. A witty film essay exploring the way we look at and understand art, coloured with absurd appearances by Greenaway himself.
The Wandering Soap Opera
A series of dreamily interconnected vignettes whose characters find themselves in all types of absurd situations combining melodrama and fantasy. The antics of soap archetypes like adulterers and femme fatales are treated with irony, resulting in
Renoir: Elena and Her Men
Pre-World War I Paris: Polish countess Elena drives men of all stations to fits of desperate love. When she elicits the fascination of a famous general, Elena finds herself at the center of political scheming, with the hearts of several men—as well as the future of France—in her hands.
Lonely Are the Brave
Kirk Douglas is justly commended for using his fame to support unusual film productions, and this late period western is one of his boldest ventures. Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo adapts the environmentalist novelist Edward Abbey to redefine the idea of the outsider cowboy for a new age, as a fiercely independent cowboy who obstinately resists modernization arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary. When the principled friend refuses to leave, the cowboy futilely attempts to escape to Mexico on horseback.
Abbas Kiarostami: Taste of Cherry
Middle-aged Mr. Badii wishes to die in a society where suicide is considered an abomination. Driving in the hills above Tehran, he searches for an accomplice who is willing to bury him after he is dead. He meets an assortment of different characters, but each have reasons to turn down the job.
Abbas Kiarostami: The Wind Will Carry Us
rreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural Kurdish village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. While death hovers around the corner, Behzad gains perspectives on life and spirituality as he befriends the locals and experiences nature’s majesty, changing his own attitudes as a result.
Brief Encounters: GUO4
A confrontation between two swimmers in a locker room. The framing of traditionally macho scenarios in a homoerotic context takes its cues from the covert porn of Bob Mizer.
Three Colours: Blue
MUBI begins a look back at Krzysztof Kieślowski’s iconic trilogy with Blue. The wife of a famous composer survives a car accident that kills her husband and daughter. Now alone, she shakes off her old identity and explores her newfound freedom, but finds that she is unbreakably bound to other humans, including her husband’s mistress, whose existence she never suspected.
Three Colours: White
Karol Karol, a Polish immigrant living in France, is a hairdresser who opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage was never consummated) and then frames him for arson. Karol Karol, in return, plans an elaborate revenge plot.
The versatile director of such disparate films as George Washington and Pinapple Express (and Silver Bear winner at Berlinale for Prince Avalanche!), David Gordon Green scored with this unsettling look at life in the American South, starring Jamie Bell.
Godard: A Woman is A Woman
Exotic dancer Angela attempts to have a child with her unwilling lover Emile. But Alfred, Emile’s best friend who is in love with Angela, is happy to be a father. Angela loves Emile and refuses Alfred’s advances, but leads Emile to believe that she is infatuated with his friend.
This morally defiant drama was Ingmar Bergman’s fifth film, and his first box office success.
In a dystopian world dominated by an oppressive regime, a woman, Jessica, rescues orphaned boys and gives them love and understanding, offering them an escape from their violent past. Bound by a united hope for peace and harmony, this matriarchal family fight for a better future.
On the eve of her operation, transgender woman Bree learns that she has a teenage son. She travels to New York to collect Toby who is in a juvenile detention. Worried about his reaction, she pretends to be a Christian do-gooder as they embark on a road-trip across the States.
Godard’s most iconic work follows petty thug Michel, who panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend Patricia, hiding out in her Paris apartment. When Patricia learns that Michel is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.
The Besson couple divorce. To protect her son from a father she accuses of violence, Miriam asks for exclusive custody, but the father says his son has been turned against him. The judge, unsure, grants a shared custody. Julien, a hostage between his parents, will do everything to prevent the worst.
A hidden gem from Philippe Garrel’s haunting filmography, this pocket melodrama meditates on loss, filmmaking, and the obstacles of an unstable relationship. Borrowing biographical details from the French auteur’s own love story with the singer Nico, L’enfant secret is a work of intimate poetry.
A monthly subscription to MUBI costs £9.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial. A monthly subscription including MUBI GO costs £14.99 a month.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Palm Beach Story
Available until end of: 21st December
Available until end of: 22nd December
Available until end of: 23rd December
Picnic on the Grass
Available until end of: 24th December
Available until end of: 25th December
Private Fears in Public Places
Available until end of: 26th December
You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
Available until end of: 27th December
Only Lovers Left Alive
Available until end of: 28th December
Available until end of: 29th December
House of Seven Belles
Available until end of: 30th December